According to research by The Economist, of UK equity funds that were in operation at the start of 2008, only 43% were still in operation at the end of 2017.
The performance of the remaining funds therefore looks better than it actually is due to "survivor bias".
Adrian Lowcock of Architas however, says that this effect is overstated and that investors should instead focus on the amount of assets that these "dropped out" funds held relative to the sector in order to properly assess their performance.
Over the course of 10 years one in four active managers outperformed the FTSE All Share index.
Adam Laird of Lyxor ETF says:
"The reassuring thing about these numbers is that there are clearly some skilled active managers in UK equity, but it’s critical you pick the right one. For every manager who beats the index, three are leaving investors disappointed."
Continuing with regard to endurance:
"If a manager has beaten the market consistently over a 30-year career, perhaps they’ve got the skill to keep going. But they’re probably running close to retirement."
Vitali Kalesnik of Research Affiliates recommends that investors be aware of the survivor bias when comparing active managers:
"The nuance that most investors miss is that it is only the surviving managers outperform. This nuance can have quite dire implications on investor returns. It makes investor frequently change managers looking for the skilled ones".
Passive investments are designed to track indices, putting a cap on their performance but reducing under-performance relative to their chosen benchmark.
Mr Laird explains:
"‘You know if your fund or ETF tracks the FTSE 100 index today, it’ll track the FTSE 100 in ten years. On the other hand active managers can leave, performance can dip or they can change strategy."
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The value of investments and income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested.
Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations which is subject to change.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
Nearly two-thirds of UK funds closed down over past decade